When Richie McCaw announced his retirement from Rugby today it was in the same matter of fact and calm way in which he has led the world of rugby for what seems like forever.
I didn’t think I would but I felt quite sad. He’s become so intertwined with the All Blacks that even when he wasn’t on the field, somehow we knew he was there. It feels like a loss.
His leadership has been remarkable – from the front, never giving up, calm and resolute in the face of incredible aggravation, determined – the best role model you could ever hope for.
I said a couple of years ago to someone “you know, we’re in a golden era of Rugby right now”. And we were, and I hope we still are!
It’s been an amazing ride to be on and I didn’t realise until today quite how important McCaw has been to my own enjoyment of the game. He didn’t just sneak the ball out of the ruck. He sneakily led us all along on a great journey with a climatic end at Twickenham. I was very honoured to see the All Blacks play a few weeks earlier at Olympic Stadium in London. I’m very glad I did, especially now.
Thank you is what to say to Richie McCaw. Every leader can take so much from you, including things we don’t even understand yet, but the results of your leadership are there for us all to revel in. Achievements that will go down in history. And the best Rugby ever!